Newspapers: Mercy Killing

A newspaper does not die suddenly. It is slowly consumed by disease that spreads throughout the structure. First it loses a vivid editor, then its best reporters, then its power to lure talent and youth. It dies because advertising shrinks and economies prune live branches with the dead wood; it dies because unions want more money and it has none to give. Yet it dies hard, lingering on until even the stubbornest owners realize that the only answer is a mercy killing.

Last week the New York Herald Tribune was mercifully killed after...

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